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Author Topic: Is It Possible To Heat Up Airport Runways ?  (Read 13017 times)

Offline neilep

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Is It Possible To Heat Up Airport Runways ?
« on: 07/01/2010 12:43:18 »
As a sheepy I of course fly in planes. First Class naturally. ::)

Look, here I am enjoying First Class  !


Me Enjoying First Class


Recently, I had to cancel my attendance at a gig because my plane could not take off due to some stuff called snow ! Fortunately my patrons were treated to a still image of me on a giant video-screen instead and they all thoroughly enjoyed themselves !!



Lucky Them Eh ?


Is it possible to heat runways like rear windows in a car ?..or some other way ?...surely the engineering exists to do something like that ?

Is it because it's not economically viable ?

What do they do in permanently snowy airports ?



Hugs & shmishes


mwah mwah


neil
I'm A First Class Sheepy Providing First Class Service To Ewe
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
« Last Edit: 07/01/2010 19:02:18 by neilep »


 

Offline Karsten

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Re: Is It Possible To Heat Up Airport Runways ?
« Reply #1 on: 07/01/2010 12:50:43 »
Well, there are some heated soccer fields to get rid of snow. Some here in the USA and Canada heat their drive way to do the same. Feasible - yes. Economical - depends on energy prices and how honestly those prices are determined.
 

Offline LeeE

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Re: Is It Possible To Heat Up Airport Runways ?
« Reply #2 on: 07/01/2010 15:58:03 »
Snow ploughs are the most economical way to clear runways where there is regular snow, as they'll be in frequent use.  It makes less economical sense to have lots of snow ploughs in places where snow is infrequent as they'll just be sitting idle most of the time.  As many of the problems associated with this sort of machinery are not just due to wear but due to deterioration over time, stuff can stop working and need repair even if it's not used.
 

Offline neilep

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Re: Is It Possible To Heat Up Airport Runways ?
« Reply #3 on: 07/01/2010 16:39:17 »
Well, there are some heated soccer fields to get rid of snow. Some here in the USA and Canada heat their drive way to do the same. Feasible - yes. Economical - depends on energy prices and how honestly those prices are determined.

Thanks Karsten.

Major Airports are very big expensive things anyway..I wonder in the grand scheme of things, how much extra it would be to maintain such a thing
 

Offline neilep

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Re: Is It Possible To Heat Up Airport Runways ?
« Reply #4 on: 07/01/2010 16:47:59 »
Snow ploughs are the most economical way to clear runways where there is regular snow, as they'll be in frequent use.  It makes less economical sense to have lots of snow ploughs in places where snow is infrequent as they'll just be sitting idle most of the time.  As many of the problems associated with this sort of machinery are not just due to wear but due to deterioration over time, stuff can stop working and need repair even if it's not used.

Thanks LeeE....I am still wondering what the cost of maintenance is when weighed up against the cost of closure for a few days and the subsequent after effects !  I'd rather be paying for the maintenance of idle equipment (or a heated runway) than have my flight cancelled ....(costs dependent of course !)
 

Offline SeanB

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Re: Is It Possible To Heat Up Airport Runways ?
« Reply #5 on: 07/01/2010 17:15:09 »
Black tarred runways, and concrete ones too, store heat and can melt the thin initial layers of snow.

To clear the runway of snow will need a lot of power, enough to melt 1km of ice that is 20m wide per runway. That sort of heater is a little bit bigger than the kettle or toaster, and would probably bring down the local grid when it is turned on.

Snow plows and salt spreaders will be more appropriate, although no airline will want to land on a runway coated with a lovely corrosive salt layer - planes cost a little bit more than a Fiesta, or even a Bugatti, and salt corrodes alloy rather rapidly. The last thing you want is a panel thinking it is made of "House Brand" foil when it is all that separates you from Sir Isaac Newton's apple.

As to the costs of keeping dedicated equipment, almost all airports have at least one front end loader, for general use and such, which can be used as a snow plough for those airports without dedicated snow clearing equipment. A bigger issue is that the aircraft themselves will require de-icing before takeoff, which does need specialist machinery, chemicals and trained staff ( Most important) so that a layer of ice does not spoil the flight capacity of the plane.
« Last Edit: 07/01/2010 17:21:07 by SeanB »
 

Offline Don_1

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Re: Is It Possible To Heat Up Airport Runways ?
« Reply #6 on: 07/01/2010 17:47:29 »
"I'm going to through my knickers"???

Seems like the snow has FOGGED your brain sheepy.
 

Offline neilep

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Is It Possible To Heat Up Airport Runways ?
« Reply #7 on: 07/01/2010 19:06:40 »
Black tarred runways, and concrete ones too, store heat and can melt the thin initial layers of snow.

To clear the runway of snow will need a lot of power, enough to melt 1km of ice that is 20m wide per runway. That sort of heater is a little bit bigger than the kettle or toaster, and would probably bring down the local grid when it is turned on.

Snow plows and salt spreaders will be more appropriate, although no airline will want to land on a runway coated with a lovely corrosive salt layer - planes cost a little bit more than a Fiesta, or even a Bugatti, and salt corrodes alloy rather rapidly. The last thing you want is a panel thinking it is made of "House Brand" foil when it is all that separates you from Sir Isaac Newton's apple.

As to the costs of keeping dedicated equipment, almost all airports have at least one front end loader, for general use and such, which can be used as a snow plough for those airports without dedicated snow clearing equipment. A bigger issue is that the aircraft themselves will require de-icing before takeoff, which does need specialist machinery, chemicals and trained staff ( Most important) so that a layer of ice does not spoil the flight capacity of the plane.

Thanks Sean..

well..I'm convinced !....and I thank ewe for your detailed answer. I suppose I was hoping that it could be viable but clearly it is not...yet ! I keep thinking along the lines of some modern take on the Roman way of heating under the floor !....some clever plumbing rather than a heating element.
 

Offline neilep

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Is It Possible To Heat Up Airport Runways ?
« Reply #8 on: 07/01/2010 19:07:13 »
"I'm going to through my knickers"???

Seems like the snow has FOGGED your brain sheepy.

Oops !...you're right Don !..I korectid eet !
 

Offline LeeE

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Is It Possible To Heat Up Airport Runways ?
« Reply #9 on: 08/01/2010 15:57:46 »
I expect that the efflux from jet engined aircraft using the runway help to keep it clear too, both by heating it and by blowing loose snow away.
 

Offline Madidus_Scientia

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Is It Possible To Heat Up Airport Runways ?
« Reply #10 on: 08/01/2010 16:12:22 »
What if you set up massive mirrors that focus the sun onto the runway to keep it warm?
 

Offline LeeE

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Is It Possible To Heat Up Airport Runways ?
« Reply #11 on: 08/01/2010 16:18:18 »
Umm... during the daytime, once the snow clouds have cleared away and the runway has already been cleared, perhaps, but snow, and even wet tarmac is a very good reflector; you wouldn't want to risk blinding anyone by reflected light while they're flying around the airfield.
 

Offline Madidus_Scientia

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Is It Possible To Heat Up Airport Runways ?
« Reply #12 on: 08/01/2010 16:25:07 »
Hahaha, yeah that's true
 

Offline Geezer

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Is It Possible To Heat Up Airport Runways ?
« Reply #13 on: 08/01/2010 19:22:03 »
Well, if ewe happen to have a power station not that far from the runway, it might be possible to use the waste heat from the cooling water by pumping the water through pipes embedded in the runway. It might not be all that expensive to do that either, relative to the cost of the runway. A retrofit would be a different story of course.

I wonder if they do anything like that in Icelend? They certainly have plenty of free hot water there.

Mind you, you'd need to go easy. If you over did the heating bit you might generate a lot of fog which could turn into freezing fog and that might really fog things up.
 

Offline RD

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Offline Geezer

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Is It Possible To Heat Up Airport Runways ?
« Reply #15 on: 08/01/2010 22:14:11 »
Ah, yes. I seem to have slipped into the Old Norsk spelling.

Looks like Nogbad the Bad is running the place.

Why would people in Britain put money in an Icelandic bank when they could put it in sound UK institutions, like the Royal Bank of Scotland for instance?
« Last Edit: 08/01/2010 23:45:45 by Geezer »
 

Offline doppler1

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Is It Possible To Heat Up Airport Runways ?
« Reply #16 on: 22/01/2010 08:36:30 »
As I see it the runway would only need to be heated to maintiain a temperature a little higher than freezing to prevent the ice from hanging around and keep the runoff flowing, provided the temperature was maintained - I guess like underfloor heating blankets or something. I am definitely not any sort of expert at this but if mild heating systems are left on all winter, it could work out cheaper than having a very hot and powerful heater that is only activated when the runways are already icing up. Just thinking out loud because I recon if you can solve this one then Heathrow will be quite pleased along with the regularly delayed passengers.
 

Offline syhprum

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Is It Possible To Heat Up Airport Runways ?
« Reply #17 on: 23/01/2010 09:26:23 »
The only practical solution I can see is to build an airfield and nuclear power station in close proximity with provision to divert some of the waste heat from the cooling towers to the runway.
Unfortunately both runways and power stations are very unpopular with the local people so there might be problems getting them built.
 

Offline Geezer

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Is It Possible To Heat Up Airport Runways ?
« Reply #18 on: 23/01/2010 09:34:52 »
I saw something recently that suggested roads could be used to collect solar energy through pipes embedded in the roadway and store that heat in fluid reservoirs so that it could be used to heat the road surface to prevent icing. I suspect it would still be necessary to remove the bulk of snow from a road or runway mechanically, but this approach might prevent the formation of "black ice", which may be far more deadly.
 

Offline syhprum

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Is It Possible To Heat Up Airport Runways ?
« Reply #19 on: 23/01/2010 11:30:54 »
I would depend upon how long the heat could be stored and how high in the sky the Sun is when the heating is required, it might just about work in the UK that is about 53° north on average but would be more suitable for the more southerly USA
 

Offline Mazurka

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Is It Possible To Heat Up Airport Runways ?
« Reply #20 on: 25/01/2010 12:02:05 »
The only practical solution I can see is to build an airfield and nuclear power station in close proximity with provision to divert some of the waste heat from the cooling towers to the runway.
Unfortunately both runways and power stations are very unpopular with the local people so there might be problems getting them built.

That would be feasable for any suitably sized combined heat and power scheme - so it could be a waste incinerator instead ;)

In the UK govts (current) consultation in relation to draft National Policy Statement on nuclear power stations, they make it clear that they don't want them anywhere near where planes fly.
 

Offline Geezer

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Is It Possible To Heat Up Airport Runways ?
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